Monday, July 28, 2008

Called To Music Ministry



We’re home from camp and after about 15 years of doing this kind of ministry; I can truly say that this was one of our best years ever. The band was great, staff was great and I personally felt so good in my skin. Leading worship is unquestionably where I’m supposed to be... In the church, on the road, in the community and around the world… that’s still my calling. In light of the kind of ministry we do, there are a lot of students who get called into ministry, many into music ministry. I get a lot of music ministry questions and requests for advice on getting started, so here are a few tips that might help some of you who are called to full time music ministry. These principals have helped sustain my passion for God’s calling on my life.

1. Take your calling seriously. Do not give yourself an out. Abandon a plan B philosophy. If you’re called to music ministry, then go for it faithfully until you cannot physically do it any more. Ignore disappointment and negative influencers. The One who calls you is faithful (1 Thes. 5:23-24)
 
2. Practice and pursue excellence. 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. A little at a time goes a super long way. The real secret here is to use your brain. Challenging your skill on a weekly basis is essential to sparking the imagination. You’ll be amazed at how much more creative you become when you consistently practice.

3. Write your own material. Learn how to write songs and exercise your imagination for the glory of God. Don’t just copy others; make something for others to look to as an example.

4. Find a mentor, be a mentor. Always be under someone who can pour wisdom into your life. Always be kind enough to give what you know out to another.

5. Make music. As soon as you can, produce a consumable music product. CD’s, mp3’s, put it up on itunes… Whatever it is, just record something and make it available. It’s the only way you can be 1000’s of places at one time and it makes your ministry grow right where people are. Technology is way too cheap and accessible for you to be telling people they can’t consume your songs.

6. Be humble. Seek first the Kingdom and God’s righteousness, and everything else will be added to you (Matt. 6:33). Jesus was not a diva, he was a servant. Don’t demand honor, let it be a reward from those you serve with your music and ministry (Prov. 26:1). You define how you’ll be known; so write that definition “servant”. There is not a better model for the Christian musician. Here is the danger in a music career…as you go “up”; God conversely gets smaller amounts of space in your life. Stay humble. So, try to be like John the Baptist. Although he had all the trappings of a famous, influential, “out there”, artsy, rock star, he said, “I must decrease and He must increase”.

7. Plant yourself in the Church. The local church is the hope of the world and the institution Christ established on the earth as his bride. Let the end game of everything you do be to serve the church. Write to her, sing to her, love her humbly. The Christian music industry is not the hope of the world, put your efforts into serving the church and it’s interests (Jesus) before you chase after getting signed by a label that might not last into tomorrow. (This does not mean I would discourage anyone from forming a mainstream band that played clubs or stadiums or Vegas. My admonition would still remain the same however…love ands serve the church.

8. Play often. Take every opportunity you are given to make music to God’s glory. Especially in the early stages of my ministry, I saw great value in taking advantage of each chance to minister, not shrinking back from the opportunities presented to me. Along with serving regularly in my church, here are a few notable gigs…grocery store openings, numerous rest homes and a show where only 1 person showed up. (I played my guts out)

9. Memorize the Bible. There is little to explain about this, but much to be gained by the practice. Your mind, equipped with the Bible, is an amazing weapon against moral failure and other sin and a beautiful instrument of peace for the world around you.

10. Practice generosity. This would be the same for any ministry calling, but it’s often over looked, so I mention it here. Giving and specifically giving your money is a cornerstone of biblical behavior and the doorway through which blessing walks. Don’t ignore generosity or generosity will ignore you.

For other information or questions you have, please let me know. info@carlcartee.com
thanks so much for reading...CC

5 comments:

Indieheaven said...

Carl,
Excellent words of wisdom.
Ill share this with our members over at Indieheaven.com

God bless!
Keith Mohr
President
http://www.indieheaven.com

Anonymous said...

Very cool to read. Thanks for sharing. You are called to lead and that's so obvious in your life and your heart. I'm thankful God has led you and Heather to give your lives away at Fellowship.

- Rob Howard

Andrew Tatum said...

Carl,

Great post! Just writing to let you know I picked up the new album and I love it!! I'm thrilled to know things are going so well and that you're doing what you're called to do! Hope to run into you soon.

Grace & Peace,
Andrew Tatum

stephy said...

Formulas are nice.

carlcartee.com said...

especially if you follow them.